This article has been written by the site owner Dan Cartwright – a mattress testing expert who has been testing products and writing online reviews since 2015 to help buyers make the best purchasing decisions for their needs.
Have you decided to jump off the memory foam mattress bandwagon?
I don’t blame you.
Because whilst high-quality memory foam mattresses can be a good choice for pressure relief and couples looking for a quieter mattress, there are some drawbacks that make looking for a memory foam free mattress a wise decision.
The biggest issues with memory foam relate to sleeping hot and the inclusion of synthetic chemicals that can ‘off gas’ and cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
And as I recently reported, some unfortunate folks were unaware that their memory foam mattress contained fiberglass – until they removed the cover and their homes became polluted with this irritant that was close to impossible to remove and even forced one family to move house.
Memory foam is also a horrible choice of material for use in a crib mattress because it can lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) through re-breathing of carbon dioxide that leads to suffocation .
So I thought it pertinent to provide you with a list of the best mattresses that don’t contain memory foam, polyfoam, or fiberglass to help you find a mattress that’s safe for you and your family.
If you have any questions about these mattresses please leave your thoughts in the comments section at the end of this post and I’ll do my best to help you.
7 Memory Foam Mattress Alternatives Reviewed
So what is the best non-memory foam mattress?
The best memory foam mattress alternative that I have personally tested is the Nolah Natural mattress because the natural latex foam has similar pressure relieving qualities to memory foam but without any undesirable synthetic chemicals or heat retaining properties.
Below are my top 7 memory foam free mattress choices with slightly different qualities to meet your specific requirements:
1: Nolah Natural 11″ Hybrid Latex Foam Mattress – Best Overall
I have chosen the Nolah Natural as the best mattress without memory foam because I have personally slept on it and I can confirm that it’s free from fiberglass, is very cooling, doesn’t contain memory foam or polyfoam, and is suitable for just about every sleeping style and position – making it a very versatile mattress.
You can watch the video above to see me testing the Nolah Natural in-depth.
In the image below that I have taken, you can see for yourself that the Nolah Natural doesn’t contain any memory foam and instead contains latex foam:
- Hybrid design – 3″ of breathable natural talalay latex foam over 8″ of zoned pocket coils to provide adaptive pressure relief, support, and heat dissipation.
- Organic cotton cover – the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic cotton cover is free from synthetic chemicals to avoid any allergic reactions.
- Luxury firm feel – the luxury firm feel means that this mattress has enough firmness to provide good pushback and support for front and back sleepers, but is also soft and adaptive enough for side and lighterweighted sleepers.
- Zoned support – the support core consists of 8″ pocket coils that are arranged into 3 zones so that the center third of the mattress is firmer to keep your hips well supported, whilst the top and bottom thirds have more ‘give’ to accomodate your shoulders and legs.
- Fiberglass free – the fire barrier is made from natural wool rather than harmful fiberglass.
- Front and back sleepers – the hybrid design, zoned support, and latex foam provides a balance of support and pressure relief that will keep you comfortable as you sleep on your back or stomach. I personally find it difficult to sleep on my front in most mattresses due to my shoulder arthritis but I was able to maintain this position for longer in the Nolah Natural.
- Side sleepers – the zoned support and adaptive latex foam provided enough ‘give’ and pressure relief around my shoulders and hips to make it comfortable for me to sleep on my side in the Nolah Natural.
- Hot sleepers – the Nolah Natural is an excellent alternative to memory foam mattresses because the hybrid latex foam design makes it one of the most cooling mattresses that you can buy, whilst the heat retaining properties of memory foam makes them the worst purchases for hot sleepers like me.
- Sensitive sleepers with allergies – the Nolah Natural is an excellent choice if you have allergies, sensitive skin, and breathing issues that are made worse by sleeping on a memory foam mattress because the Nolah doesn’t include synthetic chemicals that may worsen such conditions. My hayfever and dust mite allergies didn’t flare up when I slept in the Nolah Natural.
- Lighterweighted sleepers – if you weigh less than 150 lbs then the adaptive support and latex foam will work together to dissipate your body weight more evenly across the mattress to remove the pressure from your joints for a more comfortable night’s sleep.
- Heavierweighted sleepers – the Nolah Natural can hold up to 350 lbs on each half of the mattress (700 lbs total) and the springs do a good job of guarding against excessive sinkage to keep you in good posture.
- Skinny sleepers – if you have a body fat lower than 15% then the latex foam can help to lessen the pressure points on the more angular regions of your body.
- Combination sleepers – the bounce of the springs and the adaptivenes of the latex foam makes the Nolah Natural very easy to move around and switch positions in.
- Limited edge support – if you weigh more than 230 lbs and you tend to sleep closer to the edge of the bed then you should look at the Naturepedic Chorus Organic below because it has better edge support.
- Fiberglass free – the Nolah Natural is free from fiberglass; a harmful irritant that is often found in the fire barrier of mattresses that contain memory foam.
- 120 night sleep trial and lifetime warranty – you can try out the Nolah Natural for 120 nights and return it risk free if you don’t like it. There’s also a lifetime warranty to cover you against defects.
2: Nolah Evolution – Best Pocket Spring Euro Top Hybrid Mattress
Although the Nolah Evolution contains polyfoam, it technically doesn’t contain memory foam because it is made from Nolah’s proprietary AirFoamICE™.
Having personally slept on this mattress, I can confirm that the Nolah Evolution doesn’t have the same gloopy and warm feel that many memory foam mattresses have – but still has excellent pressure relief and even better mobility.
Watch the video above to see me testing this mattress.
The picture below that I have personally taken of my Nolah Evolution mattress illustrates that there is no memory foam in this mattress:
- 15″ thick profile – extra thick profile makes the Evo ideal for heavier weighted sleepers.
- Multiple firmnesses available – the Evo is available in plush, luxury firm, or firm.
- Zoned support – the coils in the support core are firmer around the middle third to provide support whilst the head and leg regions are softer to help maintain good posture.
- Euro top – the Euro top is similar to a pillow top in that it provides pressure relief, however the stitched apperance makes it look neater and more stylish.
- All sleeping positions – the Nolah Evolution is suitable for front, back, and side sleepers because the support, foams, and Euro top combine to provide well rounded support, pressure relief, and mobility. I personally found every position to be comfortable – switching positions was also easy too.
- Heavy weighted sleepers – the Nolah Evolution is perfect for heavier weighted sleepers over 230 lbs due to its thick profile and strong support.
- Lighter weighted and skinny sleepers – if you are a lighter weighted sleeper under 150 lbs and/or have a low body fat percentage then the Nolah Evolution is ideal because the Euro top and foam comfort layer provides pressure relief and even weight distribution for deeper comfort.
- Sleeps cool – I found the Nolah Evolution cool to the touch and the hybrid design helps with airflow and breathability.
- Fiberglass free – I checked inside the mattress by cutting it open and I couldn’t see any fiberglass. The label and customer support also confirmed this.
3: Naturepedic Chorus Organic – Best Organic Mattress
The Naturepedic Chorus Organic has a medium level of firmness that makes it suitable for most sleeping positions and the mattress has multiple certifications that prove that it’s organic and free from toxic chemicals.
More specifically, Naturepedic explicitly states that the Chorus Organic (and the rest of their mattresses) do NOT contain polyurethane foam or any variants – which includes memory foam.
Instead, the Chorus Organic comes with quilting made from GOTS certified organic cotton fabric, organic wool batting, and a PLA (plant-based) comfort layer to ensure that you’re not coming into direct contact with any synthetic chemicals that could otherwise cause skin or airway irritation as you might expect when sleeping on a foam-based mattress.
And beneath the quilt, you’ll find a layer of organic cotton batting that gives way to 1.5″ of microcoils and then 8″ of individually wrapped coils plus reinforced edge support to ensure that your spine and joints are correctly supported – even at the very edges of the mattress.
The Chorus Organic is also made without chemical flame retardants, glues, or adhesives.
This mattress is certified by MADE SAFE® which means that the mattress has been tested to ensure that it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients or the potential to release vapors, gases, or by-products that could impact human health.
The GreenGuard certification adds further reassurance that the mattress has been tested to ensure that it’s formaldehyde-free and has met emission standards.
Click the button below to see all of the certifications and check the price of the Chorus Organic now.
- Spring mattress – organic quilting over microcoils and individually wrapped springs for a traditional spring mattress feel that provides bounce and support to guard against the excessive sinkage that typically comes with all-foam, memory foam mattresses.
- Medium firmness – a universal firmness setting with a cushion-firm feel that provides a blend of firmness and cushioning to accommodate front, back, side, and combination sleepers.
- 10 inch profile – sufficient depth to support heavier weighted sleepers.
- Side sleepers – the padding provides enough pressure relief on your hips and shoulders to make this mattress comfortable for side sleeping.
- Front and back sleepers – the cushion firm feel and the microcoils work with the coil support core to ensure that your hips and spine are properly aligned to guard against back pain when sleeping on your stomach and your back.
- Combo sleepers – the medium firmness, microcoils and coil support core all combine to give this mattress the surface tension and bounce that you’ll need to switch positions without having to worry about getting bogged down in the materials as you might in a memory foam mattress.
- Edge sleepers – the reinforced edges means that you can sleep closer to the edge of the bed without experiencing the deep compression and roll-off that comes with many memory foam mattresses.
- Couples – the individually wrapped coils means that this mattress typically dampens movement better than a spring mattress that uses a traditional fused core.
- Higher price point – with this mattress containing so many high quality organic materials, the price is slightly higher than average. You may want to go for the financing option to spread your payments out and increase affordability.
- 90 night sleep trial – plenty of time to ensure that you’re 100% happy with your mattress.
- 10 year warranty – covers you against manufacturing defects.
- Discounts often available – click below to see if Naturepedic are running any discounts on the Chorus Organic Mattress now (there’s 20% off at the time of writing).
4: Naturepedic – Best Crib Memory Foam Free Mattresses
In addition to adult mattresses, Naturepedic also makes memory foam free crib mattresses for babies and mattresses specifically for children.
Because whilst the absence of memory foam is often just a preference for adults, it’s a necessity for crib mattresses.
Since many experts and bodies like the AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians) say that ‘…a soft sleeping surface (e.g., memory foam) can increase the risk of rebreathing or suffocation’ .
Click the buttons below to choose from several waterproof and breathable organic crib mattresses for babies, and kids’ mattresses that can be used in bunk beds, platform beds, and trundles.
5: PlushBeds Botanical Bliss – Best for Heavy Sleepers
If you’re a heavier weighted sleeper or are simply looking for a firm mattress that doesn’t contain memory foam then the Botanical Bliss from PlushBeds could be ideal for you.
Because this all-latex mattress is free from memory foam, polyfoam, and harmful chemicals – as substantiated by the GOTS, GOLS, CertiPUR-US®, and GreenGuard Gold certifications.
If you weigh more than 275 lbs then the firm option plus the 10 or 12-inch profile is likely the best option.
Whilst front, back, and side sleepers under 230 lbs will likely prefer the medium firmness (around 80% of sleepers).
If you’re between 230 and 275 lbs then you might prefer the firm if you’re a front or back sleeper for more hip support, whilst side sleepers could go for either the medium or firm depending on your preferences.
- Heavier sleepers over 275 lbs – go for the firm with a 10 or 12 inch thickness.
- Average weighted sleepers – the medium firmness should be sufficient if you weigh between 130 and 230 lbs and are a front, back, side, or combination sleeper.
- Couples – the all-latex design should dampen movements better than a spring mattress might and also make less noise due to the lack of coils.
- Allergy sufferers – the anti-microbial and anti mold/mildew properties of the certified organic latex layers can help to combat dust mites and mold growth that might otherwise cause an allergic reaction.
- Lighter sleepers – if you’re very light (under 130 lbs) then you might prefer to go for the Natural Bliss by PlushBeds because it comes in a soft firmness setting for deeper compression and pressure relief.
- Sleeps cool – the latex doesn’t trap heat like memory foam can.
- Many certifications – this is one of the most certified mattresses that I’ve seen, with organic Arpico, GOTS, GOLS, and USDA certified latex, cotton, and wool; plus GreenGuard Gold, Oeko-Tex® Standard 100, CertiPUR-US®, and Eco Institute emission certifications, plus many others.
- 100 night sleep trial – full refunds and free returns available.
- 0% APR financing – makes paying for your new mattress more affordable (click the button below to learn more).
6: Avocado Vegan – Best Mattress Without Wool
If you also need your memory foam and polyfoam-free mattress to not contain wool then the Avocado Vegan mattress could be ideal for you.
Because in addition to using USDA certified 100% organic cotton batting instead of wool, this mattress is also vegan certified through Vegan Action (the Vegan Awareness Foundation) and is also a PETA-approved product.
This means that this mattress doesn’t contain animal products or byproducts that have been tested on animals.
And in addition to not using petroleum-based polyurethane foams, memory foams, chemical adhesives, or chemical flame retardants, the latex and cotton has a STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®: Class 1 certification to ensure that the mattress is free from harmful chemicals.
Available in ‘gentle firm’ or with an optional pillow top to create a ‘luxury plush’ level of firmness, the Avocado hybrid spring-latex vegan mattress should suit front, back, side, and combo sleepers alike – including couples.
- Side sleepers – the gentle firm may suit average and heavier weighted sleepers, whilst lighter weighted side sleepers or anyone that likes a plush mattress may prefer to add the pillow top for greater pressure relief.
- Front and back sleepers – the gentle firm should be ideal for front and back sleepers.
- Combination sleepers – the springs and latex with the gentle firm feel should combine to give you the surface tension and support that you need to be able to switch positions easily.
- Edge sleepers – the reinforced steel perimeter can guard against roll-off and sinkage.
- Couples – the individually wrapped coils can reduce motion transfer so that you can both sleep undisturbed.
- Unbox within 2 weeks – ensure that you unbox your Avocado mattress within 2 weeks of arrival to avoid voiding the warranty.
- GOLS certified latex – to ensure that the latex is organic and not filled with synthetic latex and unwanted chemicals.
- 1 year trial – 365 nights to test your mattress out to ensure that you’re comfortable.
- 25 year warranty – to cover against defects.
- 0% APR financing available – click the button below to find out more.
7: Latex For Less – Most Affordable Mattress
You’ll have probably noticed that non-memory foam and polyfoam-free mattresses are more expensive.
This is mainly because the replacement materials like natural latex are more costly to produce – especially when made to meet the strict guidelines of GOLS and similar organic certifications.
But if you’re looking for a memory foam free mattress that’s more affordable then the Latex For Less mattress is a great option.
Because by partnering directly with the farmers, Latex For Less are able to keep costs down whilst still providing a high-quality latex mattress that’s free from memory foam, polyfoam, fillers, and toxic chemicals.
This mattress is double-sided – medium on one side and firm on the other – to suit most sleeping styles.
- Side sleepers – the medium side should be suitable for most side sleepers.
- Front and back sleepers – you can switch from the medium to the firm to find your ideal side for your front or back sleeping style.
- Combo sleepers – both sides should combine with the responsiveness of the latex to make switching positions smooth and effortless.
- Couples – the all-latex design can help to dampen motion transfer to allow you both to sleep undisturbed.
- 9 inch profile – the slightly thinner thickness shouldn’t be an issue unless you are heavy.
- 120 night sleep trial – plenty of time to get used to your mattress.
- 20 year warranty – to cover you from defects.
- Works with an adjustable base – add the Latex For Less Adjustable Base to your order.
- Pay on finance – to increase affordability (click the button below to learn more).
Guide to Buying a Non-Memory Foam Mattress
So what is memory foam and why does it appear in so many mattresses?
Memory foam is a type of polyurethane foam that has other chemicals mixed in to create a type of slow-response foam that’s capable of molding to your exact body shape through molecular reconfiguration in response to your body heat and was originally developed in 1966 through NASA as a way to improve the safety of their aircraft cushions .
Such elastic properties makes memory foam popular with many sleepers because it’s able to remove the pressure from angular areas like your hips and shoulders when it’s integrated into the upper comfort layers of a mattress.
But polyfoam and memory foam mattresses can behave and feel different.
Because although memory foam is derived from polyfoam, not all polyfoam is memory foam.
This means that a mattress that contains poly-foam (PU foam) in the top layer can feel different to a mattress that contains polyfoam-derived memory foam in the top layer.
For example, as demonstrated in the video below, whilst poly-foam tends to change shape quite quickly, memory foam has a slower response time and adapts to pressure more gradually.
The difference in feel is that the memory foam will tend to feel soft and gloopy – like moving around in sand or treacle – whilst the polyfoam will typically compress more rapidly and regain its shape faster to create a more ‘springy’ feel (although this will depend on the density of the foams too).
Memory foam is typically considered to be better than regular poly-foam.
Because memory foam found in mattresses typically has a higher density than poly-foam – which lends itself to greater durability and therefore a longer-lasting mattress.
Other benefits of memory foam include: being able to dampen movement and sounds so that couples can sleep without disturbing each other, potentially inhibiting dust mite penetration to aid with allergy control, as well as being a fair choice for those with allergies to natural latex.
The highly adaptive properties of memory foam and its association with NASA makes it popular with manufacturers who love to include it somewhere in their mattresses so that they can leverage it for marketing purposes.
However, memory foam mattresses can have several drawbacks.
The main one is that traditional memory foam mattresses tend to make you sleep warmer due to the way in which the material retains your body heat.
Another potential issue is that some of the cheaper memory foam mattresses on the market (especially those made in China) may have higher levels of synthetic and potentially toxic chemicals in them that may harm your health through the release of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and cause an unpleasant chemical smell for days, weeks, or even months after unboxing the mattress.
And whilst many reputable US based memory foam mattress manufacturers have their own proprietary memory foam blends and layering designs to help the mattress sleep cooler and eliminate potentially toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, there’s still a chance that you could end up with a memory foam mattress that contains fiberglass.
Fiberglass isn’t safe to have in your mattress – there’s plenty of fiberglass horror stories confirming that having fiberglass release from your mattress can cause allergic reactions, cost in excess of $10,000 to clean away, and in some cases force victims to move house.
And whilst you can buy fiberglass-free memory foam mattresses, many folks are now stepping away from the memory foam mattress ‘fad’ in search of other materials that cause less problems.
Crib mattresses that contain memory foam are also a terrible idea.
Because experts say that memory foam mattresses are NOT safe for babies and young children because soft bedding can trap carbon dioxide and cause re-breathing which may lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) .
But whatever your reason, following the 5 steps below will help you to avoid buying a mattress that contains memory foam and instead choose a suitable alternative.
1: Choose Your Materials and Design
In addition to avoiding memory foam, you might want to exclude polyfoam too.
Because although polyfoam doesn’t tend to smell as much as memory foam, it can still off-gas (smell) and contain unwanted chemicals that can produce odorless VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
Avoiding polyfoam entirely can be difficult – especially when buying a regular ‘spring’ mattress – because manufacturers often use it as padding or insert it into the lower transition layer.
So here’s a breakdown of the different types of mattress designs, the materials that they contain, and which option is likely best for your needs.
1.1 Spring Mattress – Best For Bounce
Spring mattresses are the most likely to contain poly-foam or memory foam.
Because in many cases, most modern spring mattresses are actually ‘hybrid’ beds that have a spring core and at least 2 inches of memory foam in the top layer.
So you need to take extra steps to find out what exactly is contained in the comfort layer and the transition layer of a spring mattress if you want to avoid memory foam and poly-foam.
You’ll also want to find out what’s in the ‘upholstery’ layer – which consists of the insulator, the middle upholstery, and the quilt – and avoid ‘viscoelastic foam’ (memory foam), ‘egg-crate foam’ (polyfoam), and gel foams.
Instead, look for natural latex foam, cotton fiber, cotton or wool batting – or other natural fibers – with a fabric cover.
Such types of spring mattresses typically provide good support, have a high level of responsiveness and bounce, and sleep cool due to their aerated designs.
Their drawbacks can include being noisy, worse at preventing allergic reactions due to dust mite habitation, and less durable when compared to mattresses that contain high-quality latex, better quality springs, and organic materials.
1.2 Hybrid Spring-Latex – Best For Sleeping Cool
The natural latex foam found in high-quality organic mattresses isn’t the same as memory foam.
Natural latex doesn’t contain harmful chemicals or produce synthetically derived VOCs but instead emits a faint smell of vanilla, or is odorless in many cases.
However, you should look for GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) certified natural latex to reduce the chance of buying a mattress that contains synthetic latex (which CAN off-gas and contain unwanted chemicals).
Natural latex found in mattresses has a ‘pinhole’ core design that allows warm air to be pushed out of the mattress and replaced with cooler ambient air as you move around (see the video below for a visualization of this process).
Therefore, if you’re a hot sleeper then the most cooling type of mattress that you can buy is a hybrid spring-latex one – with highly breathable Talalay latex in the upper comfort layer and individually wrapped coils in the support core for maximum airflow.
1.3 All-Latex – Best For Durability and Dust Mite/Mold Allergies
All-latex mattresses have both latex in the upper comfort layer and the lower support core.
If you’re a side sleeper then having Talalay latex in the top layer can help to relieve pressure on your hips and shoulders, whilst a Dunlop latex top layer may be better at providing the surface tension front and back sleepers need to keep their hips aligned – although the firmness setting (see next section) will likely have more influence over your final comfort rating.
Having Dunlop latex in the support core can help to increase the durability of the mattress.
Although mattresses made entirely out of natural latex layers are some of the most costly, these mattresses are some of the longest-lasting that you can find.
And all-latex mattresses are typically the best at combating dust mite and mold allergies because the anti-microbial properties of natural latex can help to make the mattress less hospitable to dust mites and inhibit mold growth.
If you have an allergy to natural latex, then you need to check with the manufacturer to ensure that the latex proteins have been removed (the Beausommet mattress is made without these proteins, but it does also contain a type of plant-based memory foam too).
1.4 Organic – Best For Eliminating Toxins and Fiberglass
If you want to completely avoid the off-gassing and toxicity worries of memory foam and poly-foam based mattresses, and side-step the delayed horror of discovering fiberglass in your mattress, then the solution is to go for an organic mattress.
However, finding a legitimate organic mattress can be difficult because there’s no single ‘organic’ certification.
Instead, you need to look for certifications that confirm that the cover and the layers are certified organic.
Look for a GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified cotton cover to ensure a minimum of 70% organic fibers and GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard) certified latex layers to ensure 95% organic materials as appropriate.
1.5 Vegan – Most Eco-Friendly Option
If you want to avoid buying a mattress that contains animal products like wool and is good for the environment then you’ll need to go for a vegan mattress.
Look for the Vegan Action certification or the ‘PETA Approved Vegan’ logo.
If the mattress doesn’t have this level of approval, then follow the 4 steps in my vegan mattress buying guide to help narrow down your selection.
2: Select Your Firmness
Now that you’ve found your ideal memory foam mattress material alternatives and a suitable design, you need to decide on the right kind of firmness.
The firmness of a mattress indicates how hard or soft it will feel when you lie on it.
If you weigh between 130 lbs and 230 lbs then a medium/universal level of firmness should be suitable for the front and back sleeping positions.
Many side sleepers are also comfortable in a medium mattress – especially if the top layer is made from softer Talalay latex when compared to the oftentimes thin upholstered layer of a regular spring mattress.
However, some side sleepers will prefer a medium-soft or a soft level of firmness to allow for more sinkage around the hips and shoulders.
If you’re on the lighter side (under 150 lbs) then you may prefer a softer amount of firmness regardless of your sleeping position so that you can sink more into the materials and remove the compression forces on your joints – especially if the mattress has Dunlop latex in the top layers or a thin upholstered layer that gives way to a fused coil core (as opposed to individually wrapped coils).
Medium-firm and firmer mattresses are generally favored by heavier weighted sleepers over 230 lbs to guard against excessive sinkage – especially front/stomach sleepers that need to prevent hip sinkage to guard against back pain.
The table below gives you an approximate idea of the best types of firmnesses for different sleeping positions relative to different body weights – although personal preferences can override this and there is some overlap.
|Firmness||Sleeping Positions||Weight Range|
|Firm||Front, back, side||230 lbs +|
|Medium||Front, back, side||130 – 230 lbs|
|Soft||Side||< 150 lbs|
3: Get the Right Support
Mattress support isn’t the same as mattress firmness.
Because whilst firmness is a preference, support is a constant that describes how well the mattress supports your spine and joints.
That is, if a mattress doesn’t have the right amount of support for your body weight then you could end up with back pain or discomfort in other regions.
I recommend going for mattresses that are at least 10-12 inches thick – especially if you’re over 230 lbs – so that there’s enough capacity for support.
The best types of support cores are those made from individually wrapped coils that adjust one-by-one to your body shape – or denser Dunlop latex layers if you don’t want springs.
The fused spring cores that come with many of the older types of spring mattresses are often adequate but generally not as adaptive as the individually encased coil cores.
The worst types of mattress support cores by far are those made from poly-foam because they tend to be less durable and may sink in too far if the foam density is too low and/or you are on the heavier side.
4: Add Your Secondary Preferences
With the materials, design, firmness, and support all checked off, the penultimate step is to finalize the secondary variables that can have an impact on the final comfort levels.
They are as follows:
- Temperature control – if you’re a warmer sleeper then you’ll typically want to avoid memory foam and poly-foam dominant mattresses. The best option is a hybrid spring latex mattress with Talalay latex in the comfort layer and individually encased coils in the support layer to maximise breathability and airflow.
- Allergy control – if you have allergies to dust mites, mold spores, or have sensitive skin or asthma then the anti-microbial properties of an all-natural latex mattress topped with an organic cotton cover is likely your best option because you’ll avoid many of the chemicals and VOCs associated with memory foam and poly-foam mattresses that can cause airway and skin irritation.
- Edge support – if you sleep near the edge of the bed then look for a mattress with reinforced edges; typically through springs with a lower coil gauge (under 12.5). Poly-foam and memory foam mattresses that don’t have reinforced edges typically have the worst edge support.
- Adjustments for couples – look for individually wrapped coils to better dampen movement, or better yet, go for an all-latex design to impede motion transfer further.
5: Protect Your Money
Now that you’ve got a better idea of your ideal memory foam free mattress, the final step is to position yourself so that you don’t end up out of pocket if you don’t like the mattress that you get.
Here are the key considerations.
- 30+ night sleep trial – it can take up to 30 days or more for the materials of a new mattress to adjust to your body type and dominant sleeping position. Therefore, you need to find a mattress company or retailer that will allow you to return your mattress after this period has elapsed. 30-100 night sleep trials (or longer) are common with the most reputable manufacturers.
- Non-prorated warranty – look for a warranty that’s either completely non-prorated or has a dominant/equal split of non-prorated to prorated in the case of graded coverage to ensure that you don’t end up paying for defective parts if something goes wrong in the first few years. Look for such a warranty that’s at least 10 years in length.
- 0% APR financing – many manufacturers will allow you to apply for 0% APR financing at the checkout when ordering online to make paying for your new mattress more affordable.
- Buying online vs in-store – whilst ordering a mattress online may feel scary, as long as you’re protected by a good sleep trial and warranty then you can save a lot of money whilst covering yourself if you don’t like the mattress. Look to order from manufacturers or retailers in your country to make returns easier. Also, keep in mind that lying on a mattress in-store for a few minutes isn’t a reliable indicator of comfort because as I said before, it can take up to a month or more for the mattress to adjust to your body properly.
What’s the Best Mattress Without Memory Foam?
I’ve tested a lot of mattresses over the years and the best memory foam free mattress that I’ve personally slept on is the Nolah Natural because it’s so cooling and suitable for a wide range of sleeping styles without the worry of fiberglass.
You can click here for my full Nolah Natural mattress review or click the button below to get $600 OFF the Nolah Natural when you buy it now.
Sources and References
,  American Family Physician – SIDS and Safe Sleeping Environments for Infants: AAP Updates Recommendations. Accessed 8/7/20.
 Wikipedia – Memory Foam. Accessed 8/7/20.
 WebMD – Memory Foam: Pros and Cons. Accessed 8/7/20.
Image Attribution and Licencing
All images supplied by the merchants and used with permission under the terms of several private affiliate agreements.
Dan is the founder and head content creator at Bedroom Style Reviews.
He has been working as a professional online product reviewer since 2015 and was inspired to start this website when he ended up sleeping on a memory foam mattress that was too soft and gave him backache.
Through in-depth research and analysis, Dan’s goal with this website is to help others avoid such pitfalls by creating the best online resource for helping you find your ideal mattress, bedding, and bedroom furniture.
Dan is a qualified NVQ Level 2 Fitness Instructor with 6 years’ experience helping clients improve their health through diet, exercise, and proper sleep hygiene.
He also holds several college and university-level qualifications in health sciences, psychology, mathematics, art, and digital media creation – which helps him to publish well researched and informative product reviews as well as articles on sleep, health, wellbeing, and home decor.
Dan also has direct personal experience with insomnia, anxiety, misophonia (hypersensitivity to sounds), and pain from both acute and long-standing sporting injuries – he enjoys writing insightful articles around these subjects to help fellow sufferers of such conditions.
Learn more about Dan here.